Wednesday, August 16, 2006

PvP and the Burning Crusade

Today I wanted to take a close look at the PvP changes coming in the World of Warcraft expansion. It seems PvP is being modified into three distinct types, each with their own rules and rewards. I am going to give a short outline of each type and then a review on how they might affect overall game play.

World Combat
Each of the seven world zones in the Outlands will have a different PvP objective which can be fought over by the horde and alliance. Rewards for meeting a zone objective seem to include buffs or control of a useful location. For example some zones will have towns or graveyards that change factions depending on which side has recently won. Also reward buffs might be nothing to sneeze at since its been rumored that they will increase the amount of experience gained per kill in the zone.

Review of World Combat:
I like the idea of introducing world combat into the game but giving well defined objectives. I never understood people who whined about the good old days before the honor system. It always seemed to me that world combat was mostly about the ability to gank newbies in low level contested towns. As a result of this I am not sure world combat will attract those who miss the days before the honor system. However, if the rewards are good enough I predict these objectives could attract a decent amount of players. If the pvp towns have good quest rewards inside of them I expect players to actively fight to gain control of them, especially if they need to do a turn in. Also if the experience buff is a reward in a good grinding zone then I expect there always to be a decent amount of players fighting for the objective.

The Honor System
The honor system is being revamped so that honor points can be spent like currency. The ranking system is being removed so that the gear is available to anyone who has the points to purchase them. Some items might require specific tokens/points from certain battlegrounds along with general honor points gained from killing the opposing faction. The expansions will introduce a few more battlegrounds into the game though no specifics have been released yet. Developers have said that the rewards for the new honor system will be generous but not on par with the top end raid loots.

Review of the Honor System:
Loot wise the honor system is not going to change much. There will still only be a couple of useful epic items that require a decent amount of time to get. Still for those who don't like to raid this is going to be a useful boon to gain equipment. Even if half of the PvP population has the same equipment, think Unstoppable Force, at least they will be able to fight on par with most everyone but serious raiders.

The Arena System
This is the most interesting idea Blizzard has had in the PvP area. Basically its a gladiator pit fight that requires teams of players to fight matches against other teams with similar rankings. The format is varying with 2v2, 3v3, and 5v5 matches with each team have double the members as their format. Thus a 2 person team could have 4 members but only 2 could fight in a match at the same time. The winner of each match will gain points that are used to determine their ranking in comparison with everyone else. Matches are server wide and cross faction so it will be impossible to determine your opponents ahead of times. The ranking system will match up evenly ranked teams so that one sided fights will be less common. At the end of a three month period time (seasonal) the ranks will be given points which can be used to buy arena gear. Arena gear is supposed to be on par with the top end raid gear found in the 25 man instances.

Review of the Arena System:
I love this idea. Matches should go a lot quicker then battlegrounds and will become the ultimate way to kill 5 minutes. There should be no queue time for matches and even higher ranked teams should find opponents quickly. Also the ability to form a team and get team colors/tabard is a very nice way to join players together. Also if players are given the ability to view matches this could quickly become a popular pastime. As for the rewards they will require the most amount of time to grind to get because of the seasonal nature of the point system. However, there is no decay on the points once earned and there should be wide range of items available. Even a low ranking team should be able to buy something after the first season. I hope the season timetable is moved up from the implied 3 month period to something more in line with a month. However, I believe Blizzard will want to balance the time nature of the rewards to match the amount of time it takes a raider to gain their gear.

I hope you enjoyed this short review on the Burning Crusade PvP changes. Feel free to read the two interview articles below which are the source of most of the pvp information.




Kinless said...

My Shammy raided Molten Core and came out after six months of raiding with full Earthfury and a Staff of Dominance. He was full Resto and back-up healed very well. (He topped the healing charts in output.)

But I was moving and would no longer be able to raid. 6 hours ahead of server time, I'd either have to find a raiding guild, 40 mature capable players who raided at 2pm server time, or find some other source for fun.

With an eye to the future I picked up the Blackbrood Pauldrons (BWL), the Bloodsoaked Haberk (ZG), and the Earthshaker (MC). Leaving the raiding behind I respecced Enhancement, with an eye towards getting some gear to better PvP. But an Enhancement Shaman is still rather a gimp in the battlegrounds. At least I was.

So I respecced Elemental and put the 2-handers away. Back in my full Earthfury I have +90 Spell Damage. And I'm having fun.

Battlegrounds is the ticket. From Frostwolf I've picked up a Frost Wolf cloak that is does +Spell Damage/+Healing (to wear in place of my Hakkari Cloak which was only +Healing.) I also picked up a Frost Wolf neck item that gives me +mana regen that I wear in place of the animated necklace that only provides +Healing.

The Battlegrounds gear is decent enough to give the fighting folks a chance against raiding folks.

My only gripe is the loss of the honor rank. Once we were warriors in the service of Thrall and our efforts were recognized by the prestige of rank.

Now we would be nothing more than mercenaries after loot, our efforts recognized by others only by their taking a look at our phat gear.

Anonymous said...

As for the rewards they will require the most amount of time to grind to get because of the seasonal nature of the point system.

Whell thats not true , arena points will be redistributed on a weekly fashion (same as the honor points now). -- Official Blizz post